Biography, Judy K. Sakaki

Professional Background

Dr. Judy K. Sakaki became Sonoma State University's seventh president on July 1, 2016. She has devoted her entire career to issues of inclusion, educational opportunities and achievement for all students. As president she is responsible for envisioning, planning, managing, and delivering policies, programs, and services to ensure access, affordability, and student success for students of Sonoma State University. Her commitment to students, faculty and staff and alumni and the community is paramount to her.

Previously Sakaki served as Vice President, Student Affairs in the University of California Office of the President. She has taught university classes and managed departments/divisions ranging from 45 to 1,000 employees. Sakaki has testified before Senate and Assembly Committees regarding financial aid, academic preparation programs, and gender equity in athletics and mental health. She co-chaired a task force on Recognizing Students Interned During WWII that resulted in honorary degrees being awarded to approximately 700 Japanese American students who were enrolled in the University of California in 1941-42.

Sakaki is a former American Council on Education Fellow, an Executive Fellow of the California State University, a senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and attended Harvard Management Institutes. She has been successful in raising funds to support multiple educational initiatives. Her work in addressing sexual violence and sexual harassment is in consonance with the requirements of the Violence Against Women Act. She has a strong commitment to undocumented students, veterans, and the LGBT+ students, faculty, and staff communities.

Sakaki earned a Ph.D. in Education from UC Berkeley, and an M.A. in Educational Psychology and B.A. in Human Development from California State University, East Bay.